Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - November 22

God in Search of Humanity

At the heart of Abraham Heschel's splendid book God in Search of Man, is the consistent emphasis on the importance of time, of the event in revealed religion, Biblical, prophetic religion.

Event, not process. The unique event, not repeated.

The realm of the event is the realm of the person. Liberation from the process by decisions, by free act, unique, irreplaceable. The encounter with God.

Heschel: "An event is a happening that cannot be reduced to a part of a process."

"To speak of events is to imply that there are happenings in the world that are beyond the reach of our explanation."

See early chapter of St. John--the encounter of the Apostles and of John with Jesus. Emphasis on the words to see, to find, and the naming of names, the designations of persons.

And Jacob's dream and his awakening: "This is the house of God." It became so by reason of the encounter, the ladder.

By virtue of great events--relived and remembered--the past becomes present and one transcends the process.

"Such understanding of time is not peculiar to historians. It is shared unknowingly by all men and is essential to civilized living."

November 15, 1960, IV.66

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